By Allen Hamrick
Panthers head to Regionals. Allen Hamrick photo.
Basketball season continues for the CCHS Panthers as they maintain their run toward the Elite 8 finals at the state championship in Charleston. The Panthers have cracked the whip all season and finished with a 13-3 regular season record. It was time to start giving the post season a swift kick in the pants on Friday night as they took on the Braxton Eagles in the Sectional Championship game. This would be the first step on the ladder to the state championship. The Panther basketball team clipped the wings of the Braxton Eagles and sent their game into a spiral. The Eagles came out looking like they would make this matchup with the Panthers a good one since they lost to the Panthers in both regular season games. However, their feathers started falling off in the first period on defense as the Panthers started racking up the points. The Panthers had some trouble finding the hoop in the last game but seemed to find their touch again in the first period. Then the wheels fell off both teams in the 2nd period as neither team’s offense could find the hoop with a metal detector. It was fast paced and both defenses were working overtime to not allow points on the board. At the end of the half, it was 21-15 as both defenses were going hand to hand in the trenches making it tough to score points in the paint.
After a pep talk in the locker rooms, both teams came out after the half with a new lease on life and started playing some basketball on offense. Though the shooting was still a little off, it was better as some of the easier points were not being missed. The Panthers knocked off 13 points in the 3rd and really turned the offense on in the 4th by adding 18 more to clinch the 2021 Sectional title for the first time in quite a while. With this win the Panthers will now face off with Frankfort for the Regional championship game. A win here sends the Panthers to the Elite 8 in Charleston; a loss sends them home. The Panthers earned the right to play this game at home on Thursday, and it will be a barn burner. Top scorer for the Braxton game was Curtis Litton with 16 followed by Grant Krajeski with 12. A regional title and ticket to the Elite 8 would be a dream come true for the Panthers, a dream that has only been realized by hard work and determination of a team bent on getting to the big dance. Congratulations to the Panthers, and we wish you only the best at the Regional Championship game.